Ukraine Daily Summary - Friday, June 16

'It was hell': Mother speaks of rescuing her child from Russian captivity -- Ukrainian pilots to start F-16 training in Denmark -- Ukraine says Russia abducts 150 children from occupied Luhansk Oblast -- UN nuclear chief starts his visit to Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant -- and more

Friday, June 16

Russia’s war against Ukraine

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors are seen at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine on June 15, 2023. (Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP via Getty Images)

Ukrainian pilots to start F-16 training in Denmark. Denmark’s Acting Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen told the TV2 channel on June 15 that Ukrainian pilots will be able to train on F-16 fighter jets on Danish soil.

Ukraine to receive billions in military aid after Ramstein summit. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on June 15 that the U.S., the U.K., Denmark, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Norway, and Italy pledged new military aid packages to Ukraine at the 13th Ramstein-format summit of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) in Brussels.

Media: Reznikov promises to investigate use of Belgian weapons in Russia. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and his Belgian counterpart Ludivine Dedonder discussed the alleged use of Belgian weapons by anti-Kremlin militias on Russian territory, news agency Belga said on June 15. Belga reported that Reznikov received a letter from Dedonder regarding the issue and that an “investigation has begun.”

Zelensky asks for arms in address to Swiss parliament. President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Switzerland for adopting the EU’s sanctions against Russia and providing humanitarian aid. He has also asked for military assistance.

Energoatom: UN nuclear chief starts his visit to Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

Grossi came to inspect the situation on the ground after Russia’s destruction of the Kakhovka dam posed new risks for the nuclear plant, which relies on water from the reservoir to provide power for its turbine condensers.

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Russia confirms plans to hold sham elections in occupied Ukrainian territories.

Russia’s central election commission has confirmed plans to hold so-called elections in four Ukrainian regions that Moscow claims to have annexed while having only partial control over them. The commission set the “vote” date for Sept. 10.

Ukraine says Russia abducts 150 children from occupied Luhansk Oblast. On June 8, Russia abducted 150 children from the occupied Luhansk Oblast and took them to Russia, the National Resistance Center of Ukraine reported on June 15.

Military: Ukrainian forces advance up to 1 km near Vuhledar. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have advanced up to 1 kilometer near Vuhledar in Donetsk Oblast, a spokesperson of the Tauric Forces reported on June 15.

ISW: Ukrainian forces continue counteroffensive operations in at least 3 directions.

Ukrainian forces are continuing counteroffensive operations in at least three directions as of June 15, according to the Institute for the Study of War’s latest update.

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‘It was hell.’ Mother speaks of rescuing her child from Russian captivity

According to the Ukrainian national database, about 19,500 Ukrainian children have been abducted from the occupied territories and sent to other Russian-controlled areas or Russia itself since last February.

Photo: Screenshot from the video by Save Ukraine

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Ukraine war latest: Ukrainian forces slowly advance east, south as counteroffensive ongoing

Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi said that the military is making progress near Vuhledar in eastern Donetsk Oblast. “Our troops are advancing near Vuhledar. The destruction of enemy forces continues,” Tarnavskyi said.

Photo: Anatolii Stepanov / AFP via Getty Images

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Human cost of war

Update: Death toll of Russian attack on Kryvyi Rih rises to 13. On June 15, a 38-year-old man died from burns sustained during the Russian June 13 missile strike against Kryvyi Rih in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul announced.

Russian shelling of Sumy Oblast injures 3 teenagers. Russian forces attacked seven communities in Ukraine’s northeastern Sumy Oblast on June 15, injuring three teenagers, one of whom has been hospitalized, the Sumy Oblast Military Administration reported in a post on Facebook.

Russian forces bomb Kherson Oblast, killing 1, injuring 1. Russian forces bombed Kherson Oblast for the second time on June 15, killing one person and injuring another, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported.

International response

Spain to transfer 20 APCs, 4 Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Spain will give 20 armored personal carriers and four Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine, Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said on June 15 in a statement.

Politico: Bulgaria wants to join EU ammunition for Ukraine initiative. Bulgaria’s Defense Minister Todor Tagarev told Politico on June 15 that Sofia aims to join the EU’s initiative to supply $2.2 billion worth of artillery shells to Ukraine.

Croatian government supports recognition of Holodomor as genocide. The Croatian government supported the parliament’s initiative to declare the Holodomor a genocide against the Ukrainian people, news portal wrote on June 15.

Reuters: African delegation might ask Russia to withdraw troops from Ukraine. An African delegation heading to Ukraine and Russia this week to propose “confidence-building measures” to facilitate peace between the two countries, Reuters reported on June 15.

Media: Hungary’s government was not aware of Ukrainian POW transfer. High-ranking members of the Hungarian government were not aware of the plan to send 11 Ukrainian prisoners of war from Russia to Hungary, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty wrote on June 15.

FT: US senators to propose bill to seize and transfer Russian assets to Ukraine. U.S. senators with bipartisan backing are reportedly planning to propose a bill that would allow President Joe Biden to seize and transfer Russian sovereign assets to Ukraine, the Financial Times (FT) reported on June 15.

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